By Thomas Lashier
You’re on Twitter. You have figured out what a hashtag is (you’re welcome). But now how do you make sure your tweet gets seen amongst the continuous feed of updates from your network? How do you know the best time to send out your tweets?
Luckily for you, there are several good options that can help you with this decision. Today, we’re going to focus on a free tool, because we know you’re a small business and you don’t have a budget like those big corporate bullies. That free option is called FollowerWonk.
1. Visit FollowerWonk.com and Sign In with Twitter.
Click on the bright orange “Sign In” button in the upper right. Sign in with any Twitter account.
2. Choose The Account To Analyze.
After you’ve signed in, click on the “Analyze Followers” tab in the middle of the navigation bar on the top of the page. Within the “Analyze Followers” screen, you’ll see an entry field where you can enter the Twitter handle of any Twitter account you want (personal, company, or competitors’ accounts).
From the drop down menu next to this entry field, select “Analyze Their Followers”. This will show you stats and details about people who follow this particular Twitter handle.
Click “Do It” to start your analysis.
3. Find The Perfect Time To Tweet.
Now you should see a long list of colorful charts breaking down the habits of your Twitter followers. You’ll see a map of their geographic locations, and then you should see an hourly breakdown of their most active hours on Twitter:
This bar chart shows that our Freaky Fresh followers are most active around 9am and from noon-2pm. We also see another spike in activity at night around 9pm. For us to capitalize on this increased activity, it would make sense for us to tweet around these times throughout the day.
Now, there are two schools of thought here: 1) tweet when your followers are most active so you can engage with them while they are using Twitter, and 2) tweet during the less active hours so that your message receives more attention due to less competition. Both of these thoughts are worth trying, and it really depends on the goal of your tweet. For instance, if you want to simply engage people in conversations about trending topics, you should tweet when your followers are most active. However, if you are tweeting out a YouTube video that you want people to take 3-4 minutes to watch, you may want to tweet that video out at a less active hour, so that the people that do see it might be more likely to click on it and watch.
You’ll also notice at the bottom of the hourly activity chart there is a link to Buffer. This software will automatically schedule tweets for your account and push them out at the scheduled times. If you have a Buffer account, you can use FollowerWonk’s hourly activity analysis to schedule your tweets within Buffer.
4. Extra Analysis.
If you continue scrolling down, you will see that FollowerWonk gives you a lot of information about your Twitter account and your followers. You can see your social “authority”, your account’s most active hours, and your followers’ share of retweets, replies, and mentions. These can be useful charts to get a good idea of how your followers use Twitter. You can then use this to form your Twitter strategy!
And there it is: simple, easy, and free. What more could you ask for? We use FollowerWonk to constantly look at the best time to push out our tweets.